Economic Update: The Economy, 2017 — 2018 [CLIP]


Populism we are told that we are in an
age of populism. Trump is a populist, and Bernie Sanders is a populist, and Corbin
is a populist, and many others are getting that name. What is this about?
What is populist even mean? Well, I suppose if you look it up in the
dictionary, it has to do with people, because that’s what populist refers to, and
there is a glimmer there, of what I’ve just been talking about, that there’s a revolt
of the people emerging. They are angry, they have been ripped off, they feel, for
a long time and it’s only getting worse, and they don’t see in the regular
politicians any sign of recognition of this problem, and doing something about
it. So the people are angry, and they’re demanding change, and they get called
populist. The trouble with the word is, it covers an immense array of very
different diagnoses of what’s wrong, and correspondingly different directions for
how to fix it. So Mr. Trump and the right wing get
called populist. Marine Lepen in France, whose own platform is about getting rid
of immigrants, is a populist, and there’s truth here: when people want change,
they’re wondering how to get it, having been kept out of politics, as it is
controlled by the elites in each country, they’re kind of new at this getting
involved directly. Before, they either ignored it, or they went and voted the
same way each election, the way their parents had, and their people around them
have. But now there’s a question: are we gonna go to the right and solve the
problems of the economy, in the way right wingers urge the people to go, and we
know what that is, be angry at the immigrants, be angry at the poor, be angry
at the government, standard moves of the right-wing,
organize the people, direct the people, stimulate the people, enrage the people,
and aim at these targets: immigrants, the poor, minorities, the government, and maybe
women, who knows. You all kind of know, it’s a very old story, and on the other
hand, there’s the left, which says no, no, it’s not the immigrants that’s your
problem, and it’s not really even the government, because the government is
what it is, because we allow an economic system to concentrate all the wealth in
a few hands, who then of course pick and fund the politicians they want, so if
you’re angry at the government, it’s like getting angry at a puppet. Why be angry
at the puppet? You want to get angry at the hand that manipulates the puppet; you
want to be angry at the economic system, that gives so much wealth, and therefore
power, to so few at the top, and so the left says to the people, as they get
involved, make allies out of the immigrants, make allies out of the women,
make allies out of those that are marginalized, those that are kept out,
together become strong enough to change what matters, which isn’t the government
so much as it is the system to which government always responds. If you change
who has the wealth, and if you change who runs the businesses, that government
change will follow as the night does the day.

22 thoughts on “Economic Update: The Economy, 2017 — 2018 [CLIP]

  1. The problem is, too much of the world relies on current systems, so much so that changing them is basically out of the question to any degree that would matter. The systemic issue of governments dealing internationally is over reliance on external factors, creating rigidity in a society. Strings are woven over every factor of our lives, while we are kept out of it, and we as a whole get tied down. Things stop moving when there's to many strings tying everybody up.

    Sadly, this will inevitably continue until societal collapse, like it always does. Things are speeding up and we are given only one road to go down, turning any direction or opening any new paths collapses so much of the worlds system, and creates their own reactions to try and tie it back together or fall causing casualties, or worse- war.

    After the inevitable collapse and loss of so much progress and life, there won't be nearly as many things tying us down, as long as we refuse to cooperate with and work together against the current system taking control back over the populace anyways. Self sustainable societies, trading in only their surplus, is the only way to guarantee such scenarios wiping out so many people, and even then it needs to stop being taken so seriously, and just be beneficial for both sides. We have the technology to mass produce any food or item in the world, anywhere we want in the world, and instead we let a fascist system for every country run wild with power, using all the progress and resources we gather for their own goals, and creating unsustainable societies reliant on their power, and those around them, assuring mutually corrupt and sustained leadership, while they slowly struggle for dominance through the systems itself, and own the other.

    There's so much to say about so many aspects, but all I can really tell you is that collapse is not going to stop, and history proves it. The entirety of the US, and then the world, will fall apart and burn before we are free of our self made prisons, and then it's up to us to assure we don't do it again, and focus on ourselves not needing others to survive, while helping others follow the same suit. When no society needs to rely on each other to prosper and have whatever they want, there's no need for aggression. It's going to take us ages to learn this, if we ever do, meanwhile the cycle will probably repeat itself many more times.

  2. In a crisis situation the response is either fight or flight… or freeze. Since the threat comes from an elected leader and his administration that's abusing us, we are in a state of emotional shock and awe – not knowing were to run or what/whom/how to fight effectively. Mostly resigning into a state of hypnotic disbelief, seeing the iceberg but unable to steer away from collision course.

  3. Professor Wolff, it's refreshing to hear someone recommend to the people to stop throwing their rotten tomatoes at the intended target – the puppet, and instead redirect their anger toward the puppeteer. It's so easy for the media and politicians to perpetuate the lies and soap operas that keep the apathetic amused and away from the real cause. Keep up the good work.

  4. I don't like the term populism. Stupid term in my books. It seems a term used to label anyone with a political concern and who is making their voice be heard. Ground up politics versus a top down politics.

  5. "If you change who runs the businesses" It seems to me that he wants the government to take control of the private businesses, but that would be theft:(

  6. Firstly there's no such thing as "right vs left" professor! This phenomenon has been created by the ruling class to divide and conquer the masses. You are playing into the hands of the ruling class.

    Secondly the hard working people you call the "right wingers" are NOT angry at immigrants or the poor at all. Are "right wingers" rich now? We are angry at the UN, the banking cartels, the Clinton and Soros crime organizations, the mainstream propaganda outlets, the morally corrupted Hollywood, the feminazis and their private army of authoritarian thugs (antifa) for meddling in our countries trying to dictate to us how we should live our lives and raise our families. Being called "bigots", "racists", "deplorables", etc, etc when we resist their poisonous Ideologies.

    Totally different reality out there professor!
    I live it everyday. You on the otherhand are wealthy and are part of the establishment, the indoctrination industry (formely education industry) if you like.

  7. A true populist supports the Share Our Wealth provisions of Huey Long. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share_Our_Wealth. #1 No more billionaires. "That is against Oprah for all you limousine liberals who like Oprah Winfrey". #3 Subsidized housing to eliminate the homeless problem and a guaranteed minimimum income of $1500 per month in current American dollars #7 Free education and training for all students to have equal opportunities in all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions for training in the professions and vocations of life. Yet, no prominent politician supports any of these provisions. That is why I don't support them. Bernie Sanders is not a populist. He is a regressive leftist throwback to the New Left from the 1960's and 1970's.

  8. In political terms: "populism" isn't so much about "population", it's more about politicians choosing policies that are considered "popular". Populism has become something of a derogatory term in recent years and there is some justification for that, as simply adopting policies that are judged as gaining more votes than they lose invariably leads to: ideological inconsistency; confusion and there is something deeply cynical about this political strategy.

    One example of a populist was Tony Blair, who became the leader of a left wing party (Labour) in the UK; then UK Prime minister and whose administration had a habit of adopting right-wing polices because they were adjudged popular (vote winners). This worked for a while, but selling off more infrastructure; introducing tuition fees and going to war are not left wing policies and so Labour started to be called "Tory light" as a lot of the key "New Labour" policies were actually from the right of politics; it got confusing for many voters near election time as it was difficult to distinguish between the two main parties and it was also leaving left wing voters nothing to vote for and while "image politics" and "spin" provided some distraction for a bit (and some voters will it seems vote for a dog if it wears the correct rosette) frustration started to build.
    It also made polling companies seem very important for a while, as they were in the business of determining what was popular … but that didn't work out well. There are probably many reasons polling doesn't work (and after they got the: UK election; EU referendum and Presidential election results wrong; I think it's safe enough to claim polling doesn't work); but one reason I suppose is that if you are prepared to pay for a poll, you may not want to publish it if it doesn't yield the answer you were looking for (which is pretty cynical).

    Certainly the term "populist" has been used and may still be being used (probably as a derogatory term) but I don't think we are in an age of populism. Corbyn has returned the Labour party to the left of UK politics; despite the howls of protest from the right (including the Blairites in his own party) presumably because they had UK politics sewn up ideologically speaking. However the Labour party was formed by the unions to give workers political representation; "New Labour" wasn't doing that and while many may not subscribe to socialism; Corbyn and Labour are at least ideologically consistent and while some on the right have tried everything they can think of to: portray him as a "commie"; I don't think he's been called a populist; but he was called a danger to: you; your family and the UK economy (and this is a man who is a: vegetarian, pacifist that rides a bicycle to work).
    I don't know about populism in France; but I know immigration, particularly from Africa, is a hot political topic. It attracts French voters to vote for the far right as they oppose large scale immigration although the EU favours an open border policy. It's all a bit complicated, but while you many not subscribe to the far right, again I think they are ideologically consistent. As for Trump; he does seem to do a lot of things that are unpopular. Just about every policy he puts forward (and these should really be viewed as Republican policies) is/are met with howls of protest from some group or other. He (along with Clinton) were polled (and we can only guess who paid for these polls) as the two most unpopular candidates ever …

    So I believe we have gone through the age of populism (although it still may be used as an attempted smear); perhaps we are in the age of "un-populism"? I would agree that people are getting increasingly angry; that many have been ripped off and have had no political representation. It might be one reason Trump was elected (anything except more of the same) but maybe the President hasn't the power to effect real change? One thing I have noticed is it's almost impossible to smear an honest man; once the smears are found to be lies it makes the accusers look bad; it's one way to create martyrs and after 30 or so years of what has become crony capitalism, the right seem to have run out of ideas ~(in the UK).
    I think we are in the age of un-populism now; a product of a lot of: frustration; anger and austerity (a continuing transfer of wealth from rich to poor).

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